The interesting novel by Rohinton Mistry weaves around the life of Nariman Vakeel in his last days. It delicately shows the past actions of the family members and how these actions and decisions contributed to the family antagonism and sympathies in the present day. The author cleverly manages to provide several angles to each character so that it prevents the reader from judging anyone or taking sides.
A sensitive novel with a good story.
What I enjoyed most in the book is the portrayal of each character: Nariman Vakeel, a retired english professor, regretting the wrong decision he made in his marriage due to parental pressure resulting in disastrous consequences in his life and his final days spent in contemplation of his happier days; the sensitivity of his grandson Jehangir Chenoy; the outwardly rebellious but inwardly gentle grandson Murad; his favourite daughter Roxanna who takes care of him in his bedridden state as only a loved family member could and would do; his angry stepdaughter, Coomy Contractor, who has not forgiven him for the sadness he brought into their lives and takes desperate and sad measures to take revenge finally in his last days resulting in sad results for herself; Jal Contractor, his peace loving stepson who wants to forget the past and move on but cannot do so with his stronger sister dictating his every action.
Each character that is introduced in the book does not vanish away but have themselves given definite form, feelings and thoughts.
An enjoyable book and look forward to reading Rohinton Mistry’s second novel ‘A fine balance’ next.
Title: Family Matters
Author: Rohinton Mistry
Publisher: Vintage books (1st edition: 2002, reprint: 2003)
Paperback: 448 pages
I am sharing this book review at The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday. Happy birthday, Angie!